Value for money is of the Essence

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Fiat launches the new Punto 1.4 Essence – one ‘sweet-smelling’ package

In this business, time is of the essence which is why Fiat has wasted no time in rolling out its third value proposition this year in the form of the new Punto Essence. It follows hot on the ‘wheels’ of the Fiat 500 Lounge and the 2011 Panda Young range.

In essence, this new model offers everything you could possibly want from a compact hatch – style, space, technology and safety – but, at an exceptionally attractive price. In fact, it is the very essence of affordability, carrying a price tag of just R139 900 including VAT and emissions tax.

Oscar Rivoli, Managing Director of Fiat Group Automobiles South Africa, is upbeat about this new product strategy: “We are determined to increase our presence in the passenger segment, by bringing to market vehicles that are able to exceed customer expectations without compromising on critical safety features, thereby bridging the gap between a rational and an emotive purchase.

And, it appears to be working – feedback from our customers is indicating an improved servicing experience, our parts availability remains a benchmark, and our recent product offerings are appealing to a wider and younger market, which has contributed towards the Fiat passenger sales increasing over 60% on 2010 volumes.

Technology, Aesthetic & Comfort Features

Under the bonnet beats Fiat’s 1.4-litre DOHC 16V Fire petrol engine which pushes out 66 kW at 6000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4500 rpm. It’s mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. All of this translates into a top speed of 165 km/h, a 0 to 100 km/h sprint time of around 15 seconds and some impressive fuel consumption figures: 9,5 l/100 km in the urban cycle, 6,1 l/100 km out of town and 7,3 l/100 km in the combined cycle.

Furthermore. The ‘Essence’ badge endows the new Punto with the following standard features:

  • Front fog lights
  • 14″ Alloy wheels
  • Body-coloured door handles
  • Power steering with adjustable steering wheel and remote audio/Blue&Me controls
  • Blue&Me Telecommunication system – allows full Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity and allows SMS messages to be read out via voice command
  • Microsoft USB port
  • CD/MP3 with 6 speakers
  • Remote central locking
  • Front & rear power windows
  • Electric mirrors
  • Automatic climate control
  • On-board computer including outside temperature display
  • Dual-tone dashboard
  • Leather steering wheel & gear lever knob
  • Boot light
  • Height-adjustable driver’s seat
  • 60:40 split rear seats

Safety Features

Value for money doesn’t mean the Punto Essence scrimps on safety, in fact it’s quite the opposite:

  • Dual front airbags with CSA / Crash Severity Algorithm (recognises the severity of the impact and deploys the airbags accordingly) and ECS / Early Crash Sensor (allows airbags to unfold completely to avoid occupants from hurtling towards the steering wheel).
  • ABS braking system with EBD
  • Follow-me-home headlamps
  • Seatbelt warning (light and buzzer)
  • Fire Prevention System – cuts off the fuel supply to the engine in the event of a collision
  • Programmable (up to a max of 3,5 minutes) Follow-Me-Home headlamps
  • Automatic Check Service System reminds you when your car is due for a service
  • FCS / Fiat Code System rolling code immobiliser

Price (incl VAT & Environmental Levy)

Punto 1.4 Essence R139 900

Enhancing the ownership prospect, the new Fiat Punto Essence comes with a 20 000 km service interval (or once a year) and a three-year / 100 000 km Warranty (three years on paintwork and five years on rust anti-perforation) as well as an optional three-year / 60 000km service plan.The service plan is very affordably priced at just R10 421 incl VAT.

The new model is covered by the AA Fleetcare roadside assistance for 12 months. The service is active 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is available by calling the dedicated toll-free number 0800 223 727.